Syracuse, NY and Charlotte, NC -- April 23, 2013. Providing patrons with easy, single point access to a library's digital content has been a dream for librarians who have for years had to sit back and watch as patrons navigate away from the library to check out their digital content. Today, thanks to many forward-thinking library partners, this dream is now reality. Polaris Library Systems, a trusted provider of technology solutions and services that help public, private and academic librarians serve their communities, and Baker & Taylor, the world's largest distributor of digital and physical books and entertainment products, today announce they are working together to integrate Baker & Taylor's digital media circulation platform, Axis 360, into the Polaris integrated library system (ILS).
With this robust API-level integration, patrons of libraries using the Polaris ILS will be able to browse or place holds for digital content via Axis 360 right from the library's catalog, just as they do with print materials, and they will be able to check out the Axis 360 materials right from the catalog as well. Patrons will receive notifications for the status of all their materials – whether physical or digital – all from their library account. What's more, with digital transaction and circulation status data communicated directly to the Polaris system, librarians will be able to generate statistics on their Axis 360 materials in real time and they will be included in circulation reports.
This partnership builds upon Polaris' existing partnerships, allowing Polaris users to gain instant access to even more digital content directly from their libraries. It also supports the principles outlined in the ReadersFirst initiative (http://readersfirst.org/), a movement begun by the library industry to improve e-book access and services for public library users.
"Our mission as a company has always been to give librarians what they need in order to continue to be the central point of access to their communities," said Steven Nielsen, vice president of product management, Polaris Library Systems. "So when librarians told us that they needed to be able to give their patrons single point access to e-content, we started talking to as many providers as we could to see how we could make this a reality. Many of the vendors we talk to are interested in working with us, and we're thrilled that Baker & Taylor has been one of the first to commit."
"Baker & Taylor continues to pioneer electronic content services that fully integrate with the systems and workflows of our library customers," said George Coe, President of Baker & Taylor's Library & Education group. "Our achievements with publishers and library systems vendors make it easy for libraries to build and manage digital collections, and for their patrons to seamlessly access the electronic materials they want on the devices they prefer to use."
The two companies plan to be able to demonstrate the integration at this year's ALA Annual Conference, June 27th through July 2, 2013 in Chicago.
About Polaris Library Systems
Polaris Library Systems earns the highest customer satisfaction ratings by focusing on one goal: helping librarians better serve their communities. A true technology partner, Polaris uses a deep understanding of libraries and patrons to thoughtfully design products and services that meet today's most challenging needs. Over 2,000 public, private and academic libraries count on Polaris automation platforms to maximize time and resources, reduce costs, boost productivity and improve patron satisfaction every day. Polaris is dedicated to providing unique, reliable solutions that empower libraries to build better patron relationships and a productive, bright future. Visit www.polarislibrary.com for more information.
About Baker and Taylor
Baker & Taylor, Inc. (www.baker-taylor.com) is the world's largest distributor of books, digital content and entertainment products. The company offers cutting-edge digital media services and innovative technology platforms to thousands of publishers, libraries and retailers worldwide. Baker & Taylor also offers industry-leading customized library services and retail merchandising solutions. Charlotte, N.C.-based Baker & Taylor is majority owned by Castle Harlan Partners IV, L.P., an institutional private equity fund managed by Castle Harlan, Inc., a leading private equity investment firm.